See the results of a UF/IFAS CUPS irrigation and fertilization study concerning grapefruit, in a Tip of the Week.

Many Florida citrus growers are looking to Citrus Under Protective Cover, or CUPS, to grow citrus free of citrus greening. A Citrus Industry Tip of the Week article looked at the results of a UF/IFAS study concerning CUPS irrigation and fertilization to identify the best fertilization strategy and to measure “the effect of different irrigation management strategies on fruit yield and quality of grapefruit grown in CUPS.” See the details below.

Study on CUPS Irrigation and Fertilization

According to the article, “Treatments for the irrigation trial included:

  • Two production systems (100 × 120 × 14 feet enclosed screenhouses and open-air plots with ¼-acre each)
  • Two planting systems (in-ground with Riviera sandy soil and potted in 10-gallon plastic containers with peat moss/perlite substrate)
  • Three irrigation scheduling methods (daily crop evapotranspiration and two soil moisture sensor-based irrigation using 33% and 50% of soil maximum allowed depletion).”

Similarly, “For the fertilization trial, three fertilization methods (daily fertigation, weekly fertigation and controlled-release fertilizer applied to soil three times per year) were tested.”

Results from the CUPS irrigation and fertilization study, according to the article, included:

  • “The different irrigation management strategies tested here did not significantly influence trunk diameter, canopy volume, fruit yield or the quality of grapefruit cultivated under screenhouses over the two seasons.”
  • “In the fertilization method study, the treatments had no significant effects on trunk diameter, canopy volume, fruit sugars or acids, but daily fertigation applied to in-ground trees inside the screenhouses resulted in the highest fruit yield and percentage of salable fruit.”

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.